...yep this one pictured below:
Eleven years ago when he and I began our courtship, it was the two of us versus the world. We felt invincible. Then came Rob, then Caroline, and now William. We have gone from two to five in virtually no time! Over the years we have faced our ups and downs, but I have learned that I truly love this man. Wanna know why? Well I would love to share three of the many reasons with you.
He is a man of his word -- he is loyal almost to a fault! Don't get me wrong by this sentiment; I know I can count on him and trust him with my heart and my dreams. Yet the "almost to a fault" attribute is because when he gives his word to anyone, he keeps his word no matter what. If he volunteers to help someone, if he offers his assistance coaching a youth sports team, if he is called to use his brute strength to move a piano for the eighth time, he is going to show up and do just that. There are times when selfish me wants Bobby all to myself. But I know that to love Bobby is to love what he loves. And he loves to be consistent and generous with others.
He is a man of faith -- Bobby is a believer in God. Every night he quietly says his bedtime prayers. Personally, my faith waivers. I am a doubter and a worrier and a scared follower who is not often certain of the path ahead. I don't know what conversations he and God have, but I do know that when my insecurities threaten the best of me, Bobby can not only calm me down and assuage my fears, he also does this by assuring me that if we pray through it, we will get through it.
He is the father of my three beautiful children -- People often joke that it must be impossible for me to have a child who looks like me. Caroline comes close, but she still has plenty of Bobby's maternal family's looks about her. Some of the qualities I love best about my children are derivatives of their father. Rob has this dry humor and quick wit that seems well beyond his six years of age...all Bobby. Caroline is determined, head strong, and (if raised right) will eventually be a confident, good natured example to others...all Bobby. William seems to be a fighter and extremely resilient to presented obstacles...yep, all Bobby. Because it takes both a Mommy and a Daddy to have a baby, I am so glad that my children are half him and only half me!
The summation of this post is this: In the past two weeks life has been pretty rough for me both emotionally and physically. First I was in the final days of my (likely final) pregnancy. I was fatigued, swollen, and sore. Ironically, I had this crazy worry in the back of my head that something would go terribly wrong. Bobby was right there rubbing my feet, silencing my fears, and allowing me to sleep. Now, he did record my pregnancy snores and poke fun at my huge belly, but I knew it was all in jest.
Then came William in a nine-hour labor and delivery. Bobby was right beside me the whole time fetching my ice chips and holding my hand. Next came the health scare heard round the world. I actually saw Bobby break down and weep for a moment. He deserved that moment. He later said that he had only just met William and he instantly knew a love he had never before felt. Yet he also recognized my post-pregnancy hormones and maternal instincts were taking over my sense of reason so all of the qualities listed above were put to use.
Bobby gave his word to many people that he would take care of us and he has not stopped yet -- even after we have brought our healthy baby home he has been keeping the dishes clean, allowing me time to nap, managing the behaviour of our two older kids, and praying incessantly that life will find its new "normal" soon. Bobby's word, Bobby's faith, and Bobby's fathering skills have been put to the test over the past couple of weeks and he has aced every challenge put forth. I never had any doubts of any other result.